Higher Education

The development of a new scientific discipline requires focused education of young scientists engaged in the new discipline

Faculty, staff, graduate student and post-doctoral researchers from all of the U.S. and SoilTrEC CZOs mingle along a roadside in the White Mountains of Crete during a joint meeting and field trip hosted by the Technical University of Crete and Koiliaris CZO during September 2008.

Educational Resources (examples for Higher Education)

  • Grades 3 - 16

    Technical tools of real and virtual fieldwork

    All Disciplines

    Virtual Fieldwork & Activity +

    Preview

    National

  • × Screenshot of a webpage including a Google Street View spherical panorama of a highly instrumented tree at the Southern Sierra Critical Zone Observatory.

    Grades 3 - 16

    Technical tools of real and virtual fieldwork

    All Disciplines

    Virtual Fieldwork • Activity • Project

    See an annotated list of technical tools for creating Virtual Fieldwork Experiences about a site. Tools include smartphone apps for capturing imagery and other data as well as accessing information (ie geologic maps). Desktop and web-based software is also included, as is some hardware.

    Educational Objectives

    Users will both create and access media to explain why a site looks the way it does.

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    Audience: K-12 • General Public • Higher Education • Research Community

    Observatory: National CZO

    Author: Don Haas (PRI)


  • Grades 15 - 16

    CZ Science 4. Land-atmosphere exchange

    Climatology/Meteorology +

    Curriculum

    Preview

    National

  • × A Pennsylvania cliff, illustrating a cross section of the Critical Zone with trees, soil, and bedrock.

    Grades 15 - 16

    CZ Science 4. Land-atmosphere exchange

    Climatology/Meteorology • Hydrology • SoilScience/Pedology

    Curriculum

    This module analyzes how energy and carbon flow through the CZ and how they drive CZ processes. Learn how to analyze data and use simple models to interpret spatial and temporal trends in energy flow to answer questions about CZ processes. This module is part of a CZ Science course hosted by SERC.

    Educational Objectives

    By the end of this module students will be able to:

    • Trace primary radiative forcings through the Critical Zone using data derived from a CZO field site.
    • Use CZO micro meteorological data to describe the differences between the main atmospheric fluxes at each CZO site.
    • Relate carbon flux data collected at various scales to understand the regional exchange of carbon at a CZO site.
    • Analyze how energy, carbon, and nutrients flow through the Critical Zone and drive Critical Zone processes.

    More on this module's objectives can be found here.

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    Audience: Higher Education

    Observatory: National CZO

    Author: Jim Washburne (The University of Arizona)


    Contact:


    Funding: InTeGrate: Interdisciplinary Teaching about Earth for a Sustainable Future Banner, Critical Zone Science

    Related Resource:

  • Grades 3 - 14

    Virtual Fieldwork in the Critical Zone

    All Disciplines

    Virtual Fieldwork & Activity +

    Preview

    Cross-CZO

  • × The Virtual Fieldwork Experience (VFE) Graphic Organizer for the Shale Hills VFE. The graphic organizer structures sets of questions that can be investigated at any field site. The overarching question is, 'Why does this place look the way it does?'

    Grades 3 - 14

    Virtual Fieldwork in the Critical Zone

    All Disciplines

    Virtual Fieldwork • Activity • Curriculum • Lesson Plan • Computer Activity 

    This webpage serves as an introduction to both CZ science and the use of Virtual Fieldwork Experiences (VFEs) for exploration of the CZ. Embedded within this page you will find VFEs of Shale Hills Susquehanna, Southern Sierra CZO and Luquillo CZOs.

    Educational Objectives

    • Interpret the environment represented within the VFE you are investigating, including descriptions of why the landscape looks the way it does, and how it has changed over time.
    • Create a VFE representing your local environment or a field site you have visited and present it to interested others.

    Objectives for specific VFEs are included within those VFEs.

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    Audience: K-12 • General Public • Higher Education

    Observatory: National CZO • Luquillo CZO • Shale Hills CZO • Sierra CZO

    Author: Don Haas (PRI), Alexandra Moore (PRI), Michelle Gilmore (SSCZO)


  • Grades 13 - Professional

    2017 CZO Webinar Series: Critical Zone and Society

    All Disciplines

    Video

    Preview

    Cross-CZO

  • × Screenshot from a video showing several drainages in cultivated fields.  Screenshot is from a webinar titled 'Blue Revolution: Water scarcity in a changing world'

    Grades 13 - Professional

    2017 CZO Webinar Series: Critical Zone and Society

    All Disciplines

    Video

    Watch six science lectures that highlight the importance of the Critical Zone on society and environmental sustainability. Many topics are discussed including soil degradation, drought resilience, water security, flooding, landslides, wildfire, ecosystem services, public policy, and more.

    Educational Objectives

    Viewers will be able to discuss the aspects of the CZ vulnerable to the presence of humanity, and how they may be altered due to global climate and land-use change. 

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    Audience: Higher Education • Research Community

    Observatory: National CZO • Catalina-Jemez CZO • IML CZO • Shale Hills CZO • Sierra CZO

    Author: Susan Brantley (PSU), David Breshears (UoA), Jason Field (UoA, Praveen Kumar (UIllinois), Roger Bales (UC-Merced), Jon Pelletier (UoA) and Steve Banwart (ULeeds)


    Contact:


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The most successful of these education activities has been the CZO International Scholars program. Through support from NSF-International Programs-Europe since 2007, 54 graduate students within and outside of the CZOs from 16 universities througout the United States have visited more than 20 European host institutions and field sites. In the process, the student travelers have broadened their scientific knowledge and perspective, availed of unique expertise and instrumentation not available in the U.S., and generated data sets to compare to information gathered from field sites and labs at or associated with the various U.S. CZOs. A compilation of abstracts and papers derived in whole or in part from this support is available under associated files (see below). The program will continue in 2015 through 2019 due to funds provided to the CZO National Office from an NSF Science Across Virtual Institutes grant.

A group of six CZO collaborators are currently working to develop a new undergraduate curriculum in Critical Zone science. Their effort is supported by the NSF-funded InTeGrate program and aims to develop a new semester-long course comprised of stand-alone, ~two-week long modules. The course has been fully developed and moved into the testing phase at 6 universites - in 2015 that course content will be available on the SERC website and here for anyone to use in their courses.

Tim White, as national coordinator, and Susan Gill, Stroud Water Research Center education director, developed a successful Research Experience for Undergraduates program that places 6 undergraduate students each at the Christina River Basin and Shale Hills CZOs during the summers of 2014 through 2016. The results of those REUs were presented at the 2014 biennial meeting of CUAHSI entitled Water Across the Critical Zone, and will soon be available for download here.


The higher education program has also been enriched by close CZO ties to its European counterpart, Soil Transformations in European Catchments (SoilTrEC), a research initiative that includes 4 CZOs in Europe. Each year SoilTrEC stages a variety of graduate student and post-doctoral research training workshops and meetings and graciously invites U.S. students and other participants, while the U.S. NSF has provided funds to support limited participation in some of those workshops. Most recently, 14 U.S. students, half from within and half from outside the formal CZO program, participated in a reactive transport modeling workshop held at the Technical University of Crete in July 2012.

Georg Lair, Manos Kotronakis, and Taru Lehtinen in Crete, October 2012.

U.S CZOs have also hosted European graduate students and post-doctoral researchers for training events. Here three graduates of the 2010 Critical Zone field school held at the Susquehanna-Shale Hills CZO, Georg Lair, Manos Kotronakis, and Taru Lehtinen, share a moment together in Crete at the annual meeting of SoilTrEC, October 2012.

Georg Lair, Manos Kotronakis, and Taru Lehtinen in Crete, October 2012.


Associated Files

Intlscholarspub
(88 KB pdf)
List of abstracts and publications derived from International Scholars funding provided by the US NSF.



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